If you’ve ever experience waking up in the middle of the night, but for some reason your body won’t move. You try with all your might but all you can move is your eyes, and possibly even a small movement of your head. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me give you a little information about Paralyzing nightmares. And possibly find some pictures that will hopefully give you some inside to what I see and feel. And i’m sure, there are many others out there whom have experience this type of disturbed sleep.
What Is Sleep Paralysis?
According to Webmd, sleep paralysis is a state of consciousness where you are unable to move your body. It happens in between the 2nd and 3rd stages of your sleep cycle, just as you pass between your body getting ready for stage 3, REM sleep. The deep sleep stage, where dreams happen. In these moment there is a disruption, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes, but your hearing and vision is hypersensitive. Some people have described the feeling as pressure of their chest or a sense of suffocating.
It’s been an exhausting 3 weeks.
But lets rewind to November 13th 2016, when I was attached by my neighbours dog.
I let the pups inside to eat their supper, It’s a beautiful warm day so they spent the day outside in their pin, while I was working. Once they are all eating I went out to the car to get the groceries out of the back. (Honestly, probably the first time I’ve been outside alone without my dogs. You’ll learn that I do and take them everywhere possible.) Took the big bags out and placed them on the ground. As I closed the hatch to my 4Runner, I bent down to pick up my bags and there was the neighbours dog, Rex. He was crouched down in my face. I went to turn around, to back away, to give him his space. and As soon as I moved he lunged at me and bit me in the face. I grab my right side of my face a noticed all the blood.
Life took a dramatic turn.
It’s been 5 months. And the nightmares feel real every night. I relive this day every time I look in the mirror. Every time I walk outside.
And to possibly answer your question… Yes Rex is still alive.
Now to fast forward to the present.
Sleep hasn’t been easy for me. I have been prescribed heavy sleep tranquilizers that even when I take them, I could still stay awake. Or better yet, it makes it that much hard to wake myself from a horrible nightmare.
For weeks after the attack, I was having recurring nightmares about the dog. Being attacked and bitten in the face, in many difference scenario’s. Multiple time I would wake up, just like clock work, every night between 3:30 am and 4:30 am. Unable to move, unable to call out for help. I was frozen. I could hear the growling, and see the shadow of a wolf like dog. [Rex is roughly 70-80lbs, dominant husky.] I could see the red eyes, and a figure on the wall crouched. All I wanted to do is scream but nothing would come out of my mouth. I would try with every ounce of my strengthen to move, to just wake up.
I was terrified to sleep, to go outside. I was afraid of my own dogs. And with help from my psychotherapist, I am no longer afraid of my own dogs. And I am able to go outside without having a panic attack, without alway looking over my shoulder.
But there are moments where I am no longer in control of my feelings, my emotions. Sometimes I have flash backs. Flash backs that are so real, like your eyes are playing tricks on you.
Try taking an Anxiety level test. These are my results at this time.
Your Current Anxiety Level:
It’s hard for you to enjoy life on any consistent level. You’re hardly ever experiencing a peace of mind. You’re often fearful, worrisome, and unhappy. You don’t like being this way but you don’t know what to do to change. Things are too much work and no one understands the way you feel. You wear yourself out with your thoughts and “What-if” thinking. You can be happy and confident again. You just need a clear plan of action and the right tools.
It’s like your body switches into a survival mode. The fight or flight response. The feeling that everyone is aware of. The purpose of the fight or flight response can lead to greater insights into our own behavior when we’re stressed. The feeling of bodily sensations of stress. The increase in heart rate and a quicken breath. The feel of pressure in your chest as if something is pressing down on you. The heightened sensation of sights and sounds that surround you, that make you more sensitive to the unknown. To ready yourself of a perceived threat.
I have experience this feeling more times then anyone should.
So let conclude this post with some tip on what I use to wake from a Sleep paralysis.
1. Don’t Fight
The feeling of being held down and unable to move. Relax. Do not fight back. At this moment the experience will be intensified. Fighting back just increases the fear, panic, irritability. Triggering your emotions in the brain making the nightmare more vivd. Take control of the fear, it’s important. It will get better.
2. Focus on your Breath
An easy way to stop these nightmares is to do some controlled breathing. Controlled breathing does several things at once. For starters, it lessens the feelings of chest pain that sometimes accompany Sleep paralysis.
Breathing is autonomic like the heart’s beating or digestion, so it’s not paralyzed like the big muscles in our arms, chest and legs. But breath can be controlled with attention or be affected by severe fear, which may be why SP sufferers “forget” to breathe when under attack. If you can control your breath, you can control your fear. Simply draw your breath in at a normal rate, and exhale fully, using all of your lung capacity. Notice that you can breathe fully without obstruction. This technique will keep you calm as the SP runs its course and then you will wake up without any trouble. A few moments of focused breathing with a strong intention to wake up is effective.
I hope that is gives you some insight. Maybe some more understanding. To make you more aware. Please educate your self if you haven’t already. This is an on-going problem in my everyday life, and potentially many others. And every night I will try to concur my nightmares, and to overcome this terrifying disturbance.
– ♥- P